Investigators: Earnhardt’s plane bounced, went off runway

National News

A member of the National Transportation Safety Board looks at the wreckage of a plane that Dale Earnhardt Jr., his wife and daughter and two pilots and a dog were on when it crash landed Thursday at the Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Elizabethton, Tenn. (David Crigger/Bristol Herald Courier via AP)

ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (AP) — Investigators say the plane carrying NASCAR great Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his family bounced, veered off the runway and ended up on a Tennessee state highway during a crash landing.

During a news conference on Thursday, Elizabethton police chief Jason Shaw says “it’s just the grace of the good Lord that a vehicle didn’t get struck by the plane.”

National Transportation Safety Board investigators obtained surveillance video that included footage of the crash. NTSB investigators plan to issue a preliminary report in about a week.

NTSB investigator Ralph Hicks says the Cessna Citation Latitude had left Statesville, North Carolina, about 20 minutes prior to the 3:40 p.m. crash. Earnhardt was with wife Amy, 15-month-old daughter Isla, a dog, and two pilots.

Earnhardt was scheduled to be part of NBC’s broadcast crew for Saturday’s Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway but opted after the crash to take the weekend off to be with his family.


More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/apf-AutoRacing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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